January 31, 2023
Pocatello–The arrival of the season’s first real snowstorm couldn’t keep a record-setting crowd from celebrating life at Compassion & Hope Pregnancy Center’s annual Fundraising Banquet last Friday evening. Over 300 people filled the hall at the Shoshone Bannock Event Center to enjoy a delicious meal and hear singer-songwriter Mark Schultz tell his adoption stories.
Mark’s story began in an adoption agency in Kansas City: a white house, he says, with rooms upstairs for the children. In choosing him, his adoptive parents summed up their decision in his father’s succinct remark, “I’m in!” Mark refers to this as his first adoption.
What Mark terms his “Second Adoption” took place in Nashville twenty-three years later. A newcomer to the city, he accidentally met an elderly couple named Henry and Liz while trying to find his rented house. The couple took him into their hearts, filling his stomach with Liz’s southern cooking and his spirit with Henry’s wisdom. It is Henry whom Mark credits with teaching him how to be a great husband and father.
Mark pointed out that both these couples were able to open their hearts to him because they were simply mirroring what God had done for them. He challenged his listeners to adopt the same attitude of living life with arms outstretched to accept whatever God has planned for them.
Being adopted isn’t Mark’s only window into the world of chosen children, though. After having two boys of their own, his wife pulled Mark over to her computer and showed him a photograph of a baby from China. Six weeks later, they brought their new daughter home to join her two brothers.
Two years after adopting their daughter, Mark got word from his wife that she needed him to meet her immediately in Kansas City. Upon arriving, his wife took him to a neighborhood he had been in before, then to a white house he had been in before, then to an upstairs room he had been in before. There, in a crib in the same room where he had himself been chosen, his wife and kids introduced him to a second little girl in need of a family.
This baby was born to a young lady who had initially planned to have an abortion. Ultimately, though, she chose to surrender the child for adoption. It was necessary to place the baby as quickly as possible, so agency staff, noticing a recently-received donation from the Schultz family, decided to give them a call. Mark found himself using the same words his father had in answer to the baby’s need: “I’m in”.
“God,” he told the audience, “writes the best stories.”
Mark also shared a few of his songs during his presentation.
Compassion and Hope Pregnancy Center is praising God for the near-capacity attendance, and for the fact that they exceeded their $25,000 fundraising goal for the evening.
Compassion & Hope Pregnancy Center offers counseling and assistance to community members who are facing an unplanned pregnancy. They are located at 845 South 9th St., Suite B, near Pocatello’s ISU campus.